December 31, 2011

Android 4 ICS update for Sony Ericsson devices in early 2012

Sony Ericsson has officially confirmed its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update schedule – it's arriving in early 2012. The first devices to receive the ICS update are Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray. Other Sony Ericsson devices such as the original Arc, the Xperia Play, original Neo and the Xperia Mini and Mini Pro duo - plus the Xperia Active and Live with Walkman are also slated to get the ICS update by March/April 2012.

"Our developers are now busy merging our current Xperia software with the new features in Android 4.0," Sony Ericsson said in a blog post. The company also points out that the update will be rolled out over several weeks. Thus, update will not be available at the same time, users will have to wait for their turn. Sony Ericsson has also posted a separate blog to explain the upgrade plans.

The Xperia users will receive a notification on their devices once the ICS is ready for the installation. The update would be made available for download via 3G or Wi-Fi. The update will also be accessible to users, who want to connect their device to the PC.

Moreover, Sony Ericsson will also be rolling out the update to its recently launched tablets – Sony Tablet S and Tablet P. However, the company has not yet revealed when the update will arrive for these tablets. Sony made the announcement at its U.K. community forums.

Angry Birds the most downloaded paid app of 2011

Rovio's Angry Birds has been named the most downloaded paid app for the smartphones and tablets in 2011. According to research firm Distimo, Angry Birds was downloaded more than any other application across all major operating systems including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and others. The only platform missing out on the list is BlackBerry. However, the game was recently made available on the BlackBerry's App World.

Angry Birds was followed by Fruit Ninja, while another variant of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Season grabbed the third spot on the list of the paid apps for the year 2011. Among the free apps, Facebook grabbed the top spot, while Pandora Radio followed at the second spot. The free versions of Word with Friends and Angry Birds remained on third and fourth position respectively.

The Distimo report covers data collected from January to November 2011. The report has various notable findings such as Apple App Store has four times more revenue than Google's Android Market. China is rapidly catching up with the US in downloading apps from the Apple App Store. Amazon's Appstore for Android has posted the fastest growth in terms of apps availability. The Windows Phone Marketplace has increased the number of apps by 400 per cent past this year and is the fourth largest app store.

Loop Mobile powers's auto-tracking service

Loop Mobile is bringing an auto rickshaw tracking solution for commuters using the commuting service in Mumbai. The tracking facility is built-in on Loop Mobile SIM cards, which will be given to the auto driver to keep all day. This will give the ability to track its drivers, in an effort to make it convenient, even during peak hours, as well as safer for the customer. allows the people of Mumbai to book auto rickshaws that are sent to their doorstep. Users can request for pickups and drops, and night trips – metre fare, driver information, and other details are available on the website.

With the new service, will be able locate the nearest auto rickshaw in the required location, and then SMS the Loop Mobile and customer contact details to the customer and driver.

The new service comes as a premium to’s regular services, at an additional charge of Rs. 20. Loop Mobile subscribers get the service for Rs. 15, while senior citizens is Rs. 10 only.

December 30, 2011

Kindle Fire Hack Installs Ice Cream Sandwich

Amazon's Kindle Fire is not only a great way to access Amazon content, soon it may also be a cheap way to get your hands on a tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android. JackpotClavin, a hacker on the xda developer forum, has released what is being dubbed as a pre-alpha build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Kindle Fire. But as the term "pre-alpha" suggests this release is still a little buggy and is really targeted for developers who want to help improve how Google’s operating system works on the Kindle Fire.

Some of the various bugs and issues popping up include a problem with mounting SD cards, and the blog Liliputing says Ice Cream Sandwich on the Fire has problems rendering video. Nevertheless, this latest Fire hack appears to be promising and if the project continues, the $199 Fire could be a better option for a cheap Ice Cream Sandwich tablet than the $99 Novo7.

If you'd like to give ICS on the Fire a try, keep in mind that this release is targeted primarily at developers. If you're feeling daring, you can find ICS for the Fire on this xda thread. JackpotClavin's version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Fire is based on CyanogenMod 9, according to Liliputing. CyanogenMod is a popular version of Android for people willing to root (gain administrative control) over their devices. The current stable build of CyanogenMod is version 7 based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Ever since Amazon released the Kindle Fire in November, hackers have been hard at work getting the device to run unofficial software. Just two days after Amazon's media tablet started shipping hackers were able to root the Fire. A recently released app called Kindle Fire Utility, a command line interface for the Amazon tablet, can also be used to root your device

Spire Program Ports Siri to Jailbroken iOS Devices

A recently released Siri port called Spire promises to bring Apple's personal digital assistant to any jailbroken device running iOS 5. And unlike previous Siri ports, Spire is not burdened by copyright issues, according to its developer. But as is typical for hacks that put Siri on non-Apple approved devices, Spire is not a complete solution and there a few technological hurdles to overcome. Besides a jailbroken iOS device, you also need access to an iPhone 4S and a proxy server as a go-between for your jailbroken device and Apple's servers.

Spire comes from Grant Paul (no relation to the author) who recently worked with Steve Troughton-Smith to get Siri running on the iPhone 4 and helped created an iPad 2 jailbreak method in July.

A token iPhone 4S

The downside of porting Siri to devices other than the iPhone 4S is that they require an authentication token from Apple's latest smartphone, currently the only Apple-approved Siri device. Most of Siri's voice-command processing happens via Apple's servers instead of on the actual device. To prevent unauthorized use, Apple requires each Siri-enabled device to have an authentication token before it can communicate with Apple.

Thus Spire will only work if you have access to an iPhone 4S to get your authentication token, and then you need all commands to go through that proxy server. That seems like a lot of technical overhead just to get a few voice commands on your phone, but right now it appears to be the only viable solution.

Other hacks, including the H1Siri hack that came out in early December also require a proxy server. The advantage with Spire, however, is that you can configure your own proxy instead of using a third party. Using your own server is a much safer way to handle a Siri hack since it avoids having your personal data flow through a server that you may not be able to trust.

Another advantage Spire has is that it appears to be a "legal" Siri hack, or at least a piracy-free one. “Spire uses a new method to obtain the files necessary for Siri, so it doesn’t have the copyright issues encountered by previous attempts,” Paul recently told 9-to-5 Mac. Earlier in December, Apple released an iPhone 4S update that allowed hackers to obtain iPhone system files without resorting to piracy. You can download Spire for free from the Cydia market for jailbroken iOS devices, but you'll want to be connected to a Wi-Fi network when you do it as the app download requires 100MB of data. You can also find a tutorial on how to install Spire on the blog Limera1n.

If you're thinking of jailbreaking your iOS 5 device, the iPhone Dev Team announced Tuesday morning that an untethered jailbreak for devices running iOS 5.0.1 (not including the iPhone 4S and iPad 2) was now available.

December 29, 2011

Sony Releases PlayStation Vita Bug Fix

Sony has released a software update for the PlayStation Vita to fix bugs with the device ahead of its U.S. launch in February. The PlayStation Vita 1.51 firmware comes just over a week after the device was introduced in Japan and fixes an issue that affects progress in NEXT Dynasty Warriors, one of the 26 games available at launch.

The software update is actually the second to come from Sony, if you count the 1.50 firmware, which was available when users first powered up their Vita after purchasing the device. You can grab latest firmware (for those who couldn’t wait until February and imported a Vita) through a PC, PlayStation 3 network function, or the Vita itself, via the Settings/System Update menu.

It’s unclear whether the 1.51 firmware fixes scattered problems some early adopters reported with the Vita. These include various crashes and gameplay lag, as well as sudden device freezes several users documented on YouTube. Sony, however, denied that such glitches exist, hence why the 1.51 update only mentions the NEXT Dynasty Warriors game progress fix.

Sony’s PlayStation Vita has had a solid, yet unspectacular start. In the opening weekend, around 325,000 units were sold in Japan; in comparison, Nintendo’s 3DS handheld sold 371,000 units in its first 48 hours. Some 26 titles were available on day one for the Vita, and Sony announced U.S. and European customers would have 33 games available for purchase when the Vita goes on sale Feb. 22 for $250. A $300 3G-enabled version will also be exclusive with AT&T.

Meanwhile, The Verge reports that Sony updated the Japanese PlayStation Store with a couple of new game demos: the first for Uncharted: Golden Abyss, one of the launch titles, and a second for a yet-unreleased game, Gravity Rush, which is set to arrive soon after the U.S. launch of the Vita

Apple's Purchase of Anobit Will Give It a Leg Up on Rivals

Apple's buyout of Israel-based solid-state drive (SSD) manufacturer Anobit Technologies will give the company a significant technological boost in the mobile market, and the deal could yield huge cost savings.

Apple is the industry's largest NAND flash consumer , so acquiring Anobit gives it a means of addressing the reliability problems that arise as solid-state memory shrinks in size.According to published reports , Apple will pay around $500 million for Anobit. It sees the purchase of a NAND flash technology developer as key to its product strategy going forward. The acquisition of Anobit would be Apple's largest purchase since it bought NeXT in 1996. NeXT, which produced high-end workstations, was founded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs after he was fired from Apple in 1985.

Apple has been using NAND flash memory in its products since 2005, when it began selling the iPod Nano media player. It has continued expanding its use of flash with an all-flash MacBook Air, the iPad tablet and SSD options for its MacBook Pro line of laptops.

The purchase of Anobit addresses several issues for Apple. It frees the company from dependency on flash component makers such as Samsung and Intel , which lead the market in NAND flash production. Using Anobit's controller technology -- a type of error correction code (ECC) -- would allow Apple to choose the cheapest NAND flash chip inventory available for its products. "It could ultimately impact the cost of the NAND flash they buy if they're able to continue to develop [technology] that allows them to use the cheapest flash possible," said Michael Yang, a memory and storage analyst at market research firm IHS iSuppli.

Industry analysts said they weren't surprised by Apple's move, noting that it follows an industry trend. In March, SSD-maker OCZ Technology Group signed an agreement to acquire privately held Indilinx, a maker of popular NAND flash controllers, for $32 million. In October, fabless semiconductor maker LSI Corp. announced it was acquiring flash controller maker SandForce. Neither Apple nor Anobit have confirmed the sale, and neither company responded phone calls or emails seeking comment.

Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy said Apple won't be saving much money by owning its own controller technology. "These controllers cost from $5 to $20. The NAND flash in most SSDs is significantly more expensive than that," he said. Joseph Unsworth, a Gartner analyst specializing in NAND flash and SSD, said that "if this acquisition was to take place" it would support Apple's strategy of using technology that allows it to innovate and differentiate itself from competitors with flash management and system software. He added that it would also enable Apple to use the cheapest flash available, and that should help boost the company's profit margins.

"That's why Anobit is interesting," Unsworth said. "This is about flash management and the integration of this technology into their greater ecosystem" of both hardware and software. Noting that intellectual property "is always important," he added, "having it is always better than not." Unlike LSI, which said it would continue to sell SandForce's technology to other equipment makers, Unsworth said it's highly unlikely Apple will allow Anobit to court competitors. "I see no value for Apple in doing this. Why share their secrets?"

"This is NAND management technology, not actual flash chips. So to me this makes little sense when considering other [system manufacturers]," Unsworth added. Handy agreed, adding, "I think the door will be shut. Apple very infrequently shares technology." Anobit has produced two generations of its Genesis SSD technology . The intellectual property that sets it apart from other SSD manufacturers is its controller, which uses firmware it calls Memory Signal Processing (MSP), a type of ECC.

Anobit's MSP technology increases the signal-to-noise ratio, making it possible to continue reading data even as electrical interference rises. The MSP controller technology also extends the endurance of standard consumer-grade multilevel cell (MLC) flash from about 3,000 write/erase cycles to more than 50,000 cycles -- making MLC technology suitable for heavy-duty cycle applications, such as relational databases.

According IHS iSuppli, in 2010, Apple spent $17.5 billion to purchase semiconductors -- that was an increase of 79.6% from the $9.7 billion it spent in 2009. Earlier this year, iSuppli figures showed Apple's iPad was leading an almost fivefold surge in NAND flash memory use as consumers gobbled up tablets in increasing numbers.

"Flash memory is not getting better. It's getting worse. So having a controller technology that you work in-house allows you to dictate ... technical specifications as the geometry moves down," Yang said.
Yang said while Anobit's intellectual property is key to Apple, it isn't unique. Flash controller makers Indilinx, Marvell and SandForce all have slightly different ECC technology that accomplishes the same thing: improving the resiliency and performance of NAND flash memory.

December 28, 2011

Samsung Galaxy devices to get Android 4 ICS update by Q1 2012

Samsung has already announced its plans to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich update to its Galaxy devices. However, it did not then provide any time-table for the roll-out. According to the latest reports, the company has now confirmed that it will update the Samsung S II and Galaxy Note to the latest Android OS by the first quarter of 2012. Apart from the S II and Note, Samsung will be rolling out Android 4.0 ICS update to the he Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7, and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.

Meanwhile, SlashGear reports that Samsung has held back Android 4.0 updates for Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. It further says that the company was holding the update to “monitor feedback”, after several users complained about the high battery drain. The reported glitch can also be associated with a recent update to Android 4.0 Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus users had earlier complained about similar problems.

Earlier this month, Motorola said that it would announce next month which of its devices would be getting the upgrade and when. Back in November, LG had announced that the ICS update would be available for the Optimus 2X, the Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D and the Optimus LTE, but did not reveal exactly when that would take place. Huawei Honor is also arriving in February with the ICS OS.

It appears that all the smartphone players are pushing for most of their top handsets to get the ICS. It will be interesting to see which of the manufacturers make most of the ICS update in near future.

IIT Bombay Techfest kicks off this January

IIT Bombay would be hosting the 15th edition of its Annual Science and Technological festival – Techfest from January 6-8th 2012. Since its inception in 1998, it has grown to become the Asia’s largest Science Festival and has also been patronised by the UNESCO in its endeavour of spreading Science and Technology to the masses.

This edition would be witness to some of the most renowned lecturers, state of the art exhibits, exciting competitions, adrenaline rushing night shows and highly entertaining on the spot activities. Lecture Series at Techfest would be host to Mr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Noble Laureate 2009), Karlheinz Branderburg (Founder, MP3), David Griffiths (World renowned author) and many other noted personalities.

Keeping with its tradition of showcasing the cutting edge technology from all over the world, Exhibitions at Techfest would be displaying 35 international exhibits from over 12 countries like USA, UK, Denmark, France, Germany etc. All the established research centres from the world like MIT Media Labs, Aldebaran Robotics, Disney Research would definitely give the visitors a highly enriching experience
With competitions ranging from the raging robots in Robowars to IC Car Racing - Full Throttle to the Aero modelling competition, Techfest provides the opportunity for the participants from all genres to compete with their counterparts to emerge as the best

Well, if you are not a geek, we still have lots of activities to ensure you have a memorable day out. Laser tag, Gaming Zone, Super Bike Expo, Amazing Race, Poker Championship, Junkyard wars and still- to- be launched installations would make the entertainment levels reach a new high.

After a hard day at work at Techfest, lots of entertainment stuff beckons the visitors. With shows like Copenhagen Drummers (Winners of Denmark has got Talent), Real time light painting Lichtfactor, thrilling stunts by Apex parkour, they would be witness to shows that would uniquely integrate entertainment and technology.

To catch up with all this, you just need to remember these:

Dates : 6-8 January 2012
Venue : IIT Bombay
Entry fees : None
Website :

Aakash tablet now selling on

If you missed out on ordering the Aakash tablet last time, here's good news for you. DataWind's ultra low-cost tablet is now available at online shopping site The Aakash was previously exclusively available at the The is offering the Aakash tablet for Rs. 2,499 along with Rs. 199 shipping charges. Though customers are given option of cash on delivery, but the site stresses that it will give preference to online paid orders as they have limited stock of the Aakash tablet.

It may be recalled that that Aakash tablet was sold out in less than a week it was released online. However, the last update we had on the Aakash that DataWind had delayed its delivery till January. The Aakash tablet was supposed to be delivered within seven days of the order. A spokesperson of DataWind said the people who had booked the tablet online would start receiving the device in January.

DataWind is still taking pre-orders of the UbiSlate 7, the upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, which is slated to arrive early next year. The UbiSlate 7 a.k.a Aakash 2  comes with various improvements over the present Aakash tablet. Read our detailed analysis on why you should skip the Aakash tablet and choose the UbiSlate 7. Also read, five reasons why UbiSlate 7 should have been the original Aakash tablet. For more details on the availability of the Aakash tablet on NCarry.

Ice Cream Sandwich for LG Phones in Mid-2012

Android 4, also known as Ice Crean Sandwich, will be coming to a number of LG smartphones sometime in the middle of next year, according to a post on the company's Facebook page. According to LG, the company will begin introducing updates to Ice Cream Sandwich in the second and third quarters of 2012 (that's April-September) to select smartphones, with a "global roll out" following sometime thereafter.

According to the posting, the following LG phones will get Ice Cream Sandwich during the second quarter (April-June) of 2012:
  • Optimus LTE
  • Prada by LG 3.0
  • Optimus 2X
  • Optimus Sol
  • myTouch Q
  • Eclipse
LG will update five more phones in the third quarter (July-September) to Google's latest tasty mobile OS treat:
  • Optimus 3D
  • Optimus Black
  • Optimus Big
  • Optimus Q2
  • Optimus EX
One thing to note here: Armando Rodriguez, PCWorld's resident Android expert, points out that the phones LG lists are all European versions of the phones, not US versions. Some LG phones go by different names in the US, though (as Cnet notes, the Optimus LTE goes by the AT&T Nitro HD in the US, for instance), so it may be possible that US versions of these phones will get the update too.

Still, if you're in the US, you may want to double-check with your carrier to see whether or not your LG phone will be getting Ice Crean Sandwich.

If you don't want to wait for LG to release an update and you're not afraid to hack your phone, keep an eye out for the upcoming CyanogenMod 9, a custom variant of Android (also known as a "ROM") for rooted Android phones. CyanogenMod 9 will be based on Ice Cream Sandwich, and it should be out sometime in January. The catch: We don't yet know for sure what hardware CyanogenMod 9 will support--the current release supports only two LG models as of this writing. Check the CyanogenMod blog for ongoing updates on future releases.

Samsung announces dual-SIM versions of Galaxy Y and Galaxy Y Pro

Last week’s leak has turned out to be real, with Samsung announcing not one, but two new dual-SIM devices in the Galaxy family - the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos, and the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos. For now, no information about pricing or availability has been revealed. Notably, the single-SIM Galaxy Y Pro has not yet been officially launched in India.

Both devices are roughly identical two their single-SIM counterparts, with the exception of the Duos branding, as well as slightly larger batteries, slightly different displays, and more RAM. Both Galaxy devices have Android 2.3 Gingerbread onboard, ~830MHz processers, 384MB of RAM, 512MB of ROM, 2GB microSD card (supports up to 32GB), and 3.15MP cameras.

The Galaxy Y Duos has a slightly larger 3.14-inch display compared to its single-SIM variant, with the same 320x240 pixel resolution. It has a 1,300 mAh battery, compared to the earlier 1,200 mAh one, and weighs in 109 grams.

The Galaxy Y Pro Duos on the other hand, has the same sized screen, with a higher resolution than its single-SIM variant, at 400x240 pixels. It also has a front-facing VGA camera in addition, as well as 1,350 mAh battery, and weighs in at roughly 112 grams.

Other common specifications between the two devices include such connectivity options with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot functionality, GPS with A-GPS support, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, microUSB v2.0, a 3.5mm audio jack, and stereo FM radio with RDS.

Both Duos phones also come with the ChatON instant messaging app, as well as Samsung's Social Hub, on the TouchWiz UI. Also onboard, is the Polaris Office document editor, as well as Find My Mobile, for locating or remote locking/wiping the devices.

December 27, 2011

Apple will launch iPad 3 on Steve Jobs's birthday

If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, Cupertino will likely unveil its third-generation iPad in early 2012. But when exactly will we get our hands on the shiny new tablet?

A new report from the Economic Times, picked up by Focus Taiwan and 9to5Mac, says Apple will launch the iPad 3 on Feb. 24 in honor of Steve Jobs's birthday.

As 9to5Mac noted, Apple typically unveils its gadgets at press events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays and launches those products on a Friday or Saturday. Feb. 24 is a Friday, so if there's any truth to the rumor, the iPad 3 would probably hit stores that day but be introduced earlier in the month.

The iPad 2 hit stores on Friday, March 11; it was unveiled on Wednesday, March 2. Jobs, who at the time was on medical leave, returned to show off the new tablet. "We've been working on this product for awhile and I didn't want to miss today," Jobs said at the time.

The first iPad was unveiled on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and hit stores on Saturday, April 3.

Apple has not made any announcements regarding its next-gen tablets (and it won't until the invites go out). It would, however, be great timing for my own birthday just a couple weeks later, should Apple feel like passing one along.

Whatever the release schedule might be, we'll likely see a spate of rumors surrounding the iPad in the coming weeks. Already, we've seen reports of an early 2012 launch, a revamped iPad, display shipments, a March launch with a smaller dock, and a cheaper, smaller iPad.

Mumbai students to get the Aakash tablet for Rs. 1,138

Mumbai college students will be soon given the Aakash tablet at a subsidised price of Rs. 1,138. It's notable that the market price of the ultra low-cost Aakash tablet is Rs. 2,500. According to a TOI report, the subsidised Aakash will be made available in 100 varsities including Mumbai University.

Rajpal Hande, director, board of college and university development, tells TOI that the department had issued circulars to all affiliated colleges and department in this regard and they have already given their requirements. Hande further says that the students might also be offered the upgraded version of the Aakash tablet a.k.a UbiSlate 7, which is scheduled to be launched in January.

The official further says that the Aakash will help students access online content for different courses. To get the Aakash tablet, students need to place an order with their respective colleges or the departments concerned. The tablet will allow both teachers and students in the university to access online content whenever they require.

The Aakash tablet was sold out in less than a week after it was released online. DataWind, the maker of the Aakash, has stressed on pre-booking of the UbiSlate 7, which is said to be the upgraded version of the Aakash tablet. The UbiSlate 7 comes with various improvements over the original Aakash tablet and costs just Rs. 499 more.

The Aakash tablet is still not available in the retail stores and DataWind has not yet provided any information on its availability. You may wait for another few weeks to lay hands on a better version of the Aakash tablet.

December 26, 2011

Indian Court Orders 22 Websites to Remove Offensive Content

A court in Delhi on Saturday ordered 22 Internet companies, including Google and Facebook, to remove certain "anti-religious" and "anti-social" content, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

India has been concerned recently about online content that it considers objectionable, with the country's Minister for Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal, calling on Internet companies to develop a framework to ensure that such content does not appear online. The government's critics however hold that it wants to censor online content critical of India's politicians.

The companies have until February 6 to report compliance to the court, detailing what action they have taken to remove the objectionable and derogatory content from the websites, PTI said. The judge was acting on a private complaint. Sibal was at the center of a controversy earlier this month after newspaper reports said that he had asked Internet companies to pre-filter objectionable content before it was posted online. Executives of two Internet companies confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that Sibal had indeed made the demand.

The minister however subsequently denied in television interviews that he had asked for pre-filtering of content, which he said would have been a "foolish" proposal. Sibal said he was talking to Internet companies to push for a mechanism to remove offensive content after it is posted. Some of the Internet companies were allowing content that would fail to live up to the laws that they are enforcing in their own country by their own community standards, he told one TV channel.

India's Information Technology Act requires intermediaries like Internet service providers to remove content that is found objectionable within a period of 36 hours of being notified of the content. Intermediaries are also required to warn users against posting or uploading a variety of objectionable content in their user agreements and other rules and regulations.

Very often demands by the government for removal of content have gone unheeded by the Internet companies, and the companies have also declined to provide information on who has posted the content, Sibal said. While private persons have the option to approach courts to get content they consider objectionable removed under various Indian laws, some of them have complained that the court process ensures that the objectionable content often continues online during the duration of the case. Some Internet companies also pass the blame to their parent companies in the U.S., saying that they run the websites.

The order of the Delhi court on Saturday however requires the Internet companies to remove the content considered objectionable until disposal of the suit, Santosh Pandey, the lawyer for the prosecution, told a local TV channel in Delhi. "We comply with valid court orders wherever possible, consistent with our long standing policy," Google said in an e-mailed statement on Saturday. "We're yet to receive the details of this order and can't comment on this specific case." Other Internet companies were not available immediately for comment on the Delhi court order.

December 25, 2011

DoT Rules 3G Roaming Illegal

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked mobile operators to stop providing 3G roaming services or risk the termination of their roaming agreements. The telecom regulatory body has stated that this is in violation of licence norms. Mobile operators are definitely going to feel the pinch of this new ruling because they stand to lose a lot of revenue.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had earlier made similar inference following which, the Law Ministry, Communications, and IT Minister Kapil Sibal had asked Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar to notify all 3G operators operating in this "illegal" manner about the diktat. The DoT plans to penalise operators not abiding by this new ruling.

Earlier this year, no one operator was able to bag a pan-India 3G licence. Therefore, they had no choice but to enter into roaming agreements with each other to provide the service across the country. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, and Idea Cellular entered into such a roaming agreement, while Tata Teleservices and Aircel, who had initially agreed to such an arrangement, later terminated it.

The DoT received complaints regarding the illegal nature of such agreements. After seeking legal opinion, it decided to issue notices to these firms to terminate these agreements immediately, failing which they are liable to face legal action. The three operators to whom the notices have been served have written to the PM demanding refund of the spectrum auction payment if 3G roaming is not allowed.

Reliance to offer Rs 10/GB 4G plans with its low-cost tablets

Back in November, we'd reported that Reliance Industries and DataWind are prepping an ultra low-cost 4G tablet. The latest media reports suggest the 4G tablet will be launched by 2012-end at an expected price of Rs. 3,500. In addition, the tablet will come with bundled plans as low as Rs 10 per 1 GB of data.

It's notable that RIL is an exclusive pan-India 4G licence holder, having paid Rs. 13,000 crore for the spectrum. RIL's 4G services will be based on Qualcomm's Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The LTE technology is presently in the test phase and has only been implemented in selected developed markets by major telecom operators such as Vodafone, Verizon and Telenor. RIL's subsidised 4G-based tablets are certainly going to boost its 4G spectrum services.

According to reports, RIL's services will be accessible from all devices. Apart from the tablet PCs, there will be USB sticks and Wi-Fi modems, so that all kinds of users are able to access its services. RIL's subsidised 4G services are likely to create a tough time for the existing 3G service providers, who have reportedly paid similar amounts to get their licences. While RIL shelled out Rs. 13,000 crore for a pan-India 4G licence, Bharti Airtel paid Rs. 12,295 crore for spectrum in just 13 circles.

The data services at a subsidised rate of Rs. 10/GB is almost one tenth of the present 3G plans. Airtel recently launched its Super 950 plan under which it was offering unlimited 3G data services for a monthly rental of Rs. 950. The plan is presently available only for Rajasthan circle. It's expected Airtel and other telecom operators may soon come up with similar unlimited plans in other circles.

Other than the existing 3G rivals, RIL may face stiff competition from other CDMA operators like Reliance Communications, Tata Communications and MTS. These CDMA telecom operators have been offering their tariffs at lower prices. RCom has already forayed into the tablet market with its Reliance 3G Tab. 

December 24, 2011

Google Helps You Follow Santa with Smartphones and Social Media

Technology is making it easy and fun to follow Santa this Christmas.
Android phones, Twitter, Google, and YouTube are among the tools you can use to keep tabs on the jolly old elf during his travels for Sunday's holiday.

Google Earth and Google Maps

The easiest way to see what Santa's up to is to visit where you can see an embedded map of Santa's journey. The North American Aerospace Defense Command says the man in red officially began his annual journey across the globe at 2 a.m. EST time Saturday morning. If you'd rather see Santa in all his glory on Google Earth, click the "Track Santa On Google Earth" button in the bottom right corner of the map. This will prompt you to download the Google Earth Plug-in for your browser (Windows 2000 or higher and Mac OS X 10.5 or higher).


You can easily track Santa from any mobile device equipped with Google Maps, including Android smartphones and tablets, the iPhone, and the iPad. Open up Google Maps on your device and search for "Santa" to see the man in red's most recent location. If you don't have a Google Maps app on your device, point your web browser to Android and iPhone users can also download NORAD's free official Santa tracking app from the App Store or Android Market. Both stores have many Santa-tracking apps, so make sure you get the official version called NORAD Tracks Santa by Visionbox. The app updates with Santa's current location and you can also play a game called Elf Toss where you try to help the elves load Santa's sleigh in time for Christmas Eve.

Social Media
One of the fastest ways to keep tabs on Santa is through NORAD's official Track Santa Twitter feed providing constant updates of Santa's location and links to the latest videos recording his journey. You can also find NORAD tracking Santa on Facebook, Google+, and Santa's latest videos for 2011 on or NORAD Tracks Santa page on YouTube. Just like last year, you can also visit to send a personalized holiday greeting from Santa to any phone number in North America. And you can have the kids call Santa's Google Voice number at 1-855-34-SANTA (72682) to leave a voicemail for the man in red. Santa's sleigh, dubbed Santa One, was recently cleared to fly over American skies at an altitude of 50,000 feet.

Tracking Santa Through the Years
The annual tradition of using military technology to track Santa was born in the 1950s.
A newspaper ad that was intended to publish a special telephone number for calling Santa on Christmas Eve instead printed the direct number for the commander-in-chief of Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), the predecessor to NORAD. As calls started pouring in to CONAD that night, Director of Operations Colonel Harry Shloup did not disappoint the young callers and had his staff check the radar for signs of Kris Kringle's sleigh.

September 19, 2011

Beetel Launches Touchscreen Mobile Phone GD470

Beetel Teletech has entered an already overcrowded mobile market with the launch of GD470, its first full touchscreen mobile handset for  India. The GD470 sports a 2.8-inch screen and comes with dual-SIM capabilities. Beetel Teletech adds that the phone comes with a host of customized applications, which they believe should entice the Indian masses.

Below is the specifications of the Beetel's GD470 :
•2.8-inch, full touchscreen
•1.3 MP camera
•Video play - .3GP, .AVI, .MP4 formats up to 25fps
•MP3 playback facility (MIDI, AMR and WAV support)
•FM radio
•Expandable memory upto 8GB
Additionally, the GD470 comes loaded with 'Beetel World', which includes a host of social networking and infotainment features, like Facebook, Snaptu, Mig 33, Yahoo!, ibibo, Vuclip, Reuters, Hungama and Penguin. Beetel adds that the GD470 can also be used as a sound recorder.
Price specification for Beetel's GD470 is Rs. 3,300.

September 18, 2011

Twitter celebrates Hindi Diwas by adding Hindi support

When Twitter celebrated its milestone moment of reaching 100 million user count, it made an announcement, too. The microblogging site was soon going to roll out additional language support for its homogenous user base. Yesterday, when the nation celebrated 'Hindi Diwas', it just seemed to be the perfect day to have Twitter launch translation support for Hindi. Beginning from yesterday, users can choose to tweet in Hindi, by simply changing their default language preference to 'Hindi' in the 'Settings' tab.

Once the above mentioned settings are changed, all instructions on the page get translated to Hindi. For example, instructions like - "What's happening?" gets translated to "Kya ho raha hain?",  "Help" gets translated to "Sahayta", "Search" gets translated to "Khoje", and so on. This move by Twitter came by when a report stated that of all tweets on the site, only 50 percent were in English.

September 17, 2011

Samsung will announce Windows 8 tablet next week

Korean electronics giant, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft to launch the first tablet running Windows 8 OS. This announcement should take place during Microsoft’s developers’ conference in California next week. Android tablets aren’t exactly flying off the shelves, which is primarily due to the limitations of Honeycomb. So, it makes sense to expand one's product base with a different OS, which is exactly what Samsung is trying to do. Who knows, maybe Windows 8 could be the next best thing after iOS in the tablet world.

We still don’t know anything about what the tablet will look like or its specifications, but I think it’s safe to assume it won’t be far off from their current offerings. With Apple harrowing Samsung at every turn with lawsuits, it’s not a bad idea to plan for the future. Being a Windows-based tablet, we should be able to expect certain things like a USB port, more than 1GB RAM and possibly HDMI. Samsung may just go with their Super AMOLED Plus screens like the ones used on the Note. The conference will be held from the 13th to the 16th of September, this year. So, I guess we wait till then for more news to pour in.

Google+ releases API for developers

While Facebook has been rolling out features this week with improved lists and subscribe buttons, Google+ has stayed quiet for the most part. Now, however, Google+ is releasing part of their API for developers saying, "This is just the beginning". This means there will now be outside applications for Google+, however, they have laid some pretty strict rules for third party developers. Some of the principles Google has laid for their developers include, "put the user first, be transparent, and respect user data". The API was released on public data only, which means they can only retrieve public posts and public profile data.

Developers note that there are not a lot of APIs in this release, and it only allows for querying of a single person or an activity/action on Google+. So third party apps like Tweetdeck or HootSuite could be created to display what's going on on Google+, but they will not let users post to Google+. Because the APIs are so simple, the app approval procedure is also simple, they only request to know who the developer is on Google. Given that this is only an initial release, more releases of Google+ APIs are sure to come. Which means more potential for Google+ to be more ubiquitous.

September 16, 2011

Nokia 100 & Nokia 101 Affordable Phone from Nokia

Nokia has announced two very affordable phones with music features in India, the dual-SIM Nokia 101 and the single SIM Nokia 100. We had posted the global announcement about the launch of these mobile phones a few weeks ago. The 101 is the fifth dual-SIM phone from the company and is the most affordable of the lot.
The Nokia 101 is a dual-SIM phone, allowing the user to access two different networks. The Nokia SIM manager in the phone allows the users to decide which SIM card is to be used to make calls and which is to be used for SMS, to maximise cost benefits and maintain network coverage with just a single phone. It also allows users to store settings of up to five SIM cards on the phone and to personalise them by assigning names and logos for each SIM setting. The 101 comes with multimedia facilities including an MP3 player, FM radio, loudspeaker, and 16 GB expandable memory.
The Nokia 100 is aimed at users looking for durability and simplicity with an affordable means of texting and making calls. It is the most affordable colour display phone from Nokia and comes with an easy to use grid-based menu system with icons, which is easy to use. This phone also features an FM radio and a loudspeaker to play the same. The above phones come with Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Money for instant access to locally-relevant information on healthcare, education, agriculture, and entertainment.

The phones will come with an attractive offer from Airtel, which will provide customers with 100 minutes of free Airtel to Airtel talk time for one month. Customers can opt to continue the plan for the next month with a minimum recharge. The offer also includes 400 national and local SMS free every month. The Nokia 100 and Nokia 101 will be available at MRPs of Rs 1399 and Rs 1699 respectively with the former becoming available in October, while the latter launching in the next few weeks in black and red colours.

June 25, 2011

Facebook App that Notify Users for Malicious Content

At a time when the virtual space, especially social networks are rife with spam attacks, and hackers on the loose, an attempt by a bunch of students surely seems to be a force to reckon with.

Students belonging to the University of California’s graduate class, Md. Sazzadur Rahman and Ting-Kai-Huang, and a company run by the school’s alumnus, put their heads together and developed a free Facebook application called, which the founders claim is capable of detecting spam, malware that are found on the walls, and news feeds of the user’s Facebook account. The app, according to the founders aims at delivering real-time protection from viruses, spam to the users. Web protection service, encouraged the construction of the app.

The recent spate of malware attacks on Facebook, and other web domains have given more than enough reasons for attempts like these. Facebook, at present has over a staggering 700 million members, and miscreants have found it to be a place where it was easy to target people into letting spam into their profiles. Contradicting this, once installed into one’s profile, begins actively scanning the user’s wall posts, news feeds to see if any malicious content was posted. If found any, the app would immediately notify the user of the same and prompt him to remove the malicious content. The app, for now can be downloaded for free off Although just recently started, the app already has won the confidence of several users.

June 24, 2011

Micromax Q80 - Dual SIM Phone

Micromax continues to woo the entry-level mobile segment, announcing the Q80 which is a QWERTY mobile phone. The specifications of the phone look pretty decent for the price bracket that the Q80 is aimed at.

The handset can handle two SIM cards and Micromax has also loaded their own Push Mail service called ezmail. The Q80 also boasts of a Yamaha amplifier and a 1200 mAh battery with claims of 5 hours of talk time and 130 hours of standby. A closer look under the hood reveals the following:

  • 2.4-inch QVGA display with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels
  • 3G, Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3 megapixel camera with Face and Smile detection
  • 0.3 megapixel secondary camera
  • FM Radio
  • Memory expandable to 8GB

The Q80 can support MIDI, MP3 for audio and 3GP, MP4 for video formats. As mentioned earlier, the phone also has a QWERTY keypad and an optical trackpad for navigation. Micromax has also added a few applications like Opera Mini, Snaptu, Newshunt, Facebook, Nimbuzz and more. The Q80 is priced at Rs. 4,999 which looks quite decent for the kind of features that this handset boasts of. Stay tuned for a full-fledged review.

Nokia WP7 Phone In October?

You can expect the first Nokia WP7 handset, sometime during the end of this year. If new reports are to be believed, Nokia could unveil the device even a lot earlier than that. The company is holding a Nokia World event in London on October 26 and 27. This is the time when Windows Phone's Mango update, which is said to change the way WP7 performs, is scheduled to come out. Naturally, this is a good occasion to launch the new device. With the arrival of this update, all media attention will be focussed towards the platform.

Having said that, Nokia could alternatively launch the device during the end of the year (in December perhaps) as earlier reports had suggested. We think that the company would make the announcement during October about a launch date of December. As of now, the Nokia World seems like the best bet to show off the device. However, it was expected that Nokia could announce the device during the already concluded Nokia Connection event, which was held in conjunction with the Nokia CommunicAsia 2011. Everyone will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of the "market disrupting device" or the Nokia N9, so we think that it was wise of Nokia to keep the suspense alive.

Source : Nokia WP7 Phone In October?

June 23, 2011

Creative Launch Affordable Wireless Speaker

Speakers don't always have to be large, cumbersome, and boring to look at. Creative Technology Ltd seems to have taken note of this as they announced the D80 Bluetooth wireless one-piece portable speaker, which comes in four colours.

This speaker can play from any stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR source compatible with A2DP/AVRCP profile such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phones, tablet computers, and laptops. The Bluetooth Connect button present on the speaker lets you instantly it with the source without any hassle, and you can use the same to toggle between pre-paired sources. Support for AVRCP profile means that you can control speaker volume through compatible source devices. There is also an auxiliary input to connect other audio devices. With no obstructions such as walls, the speaker can be placed at a distance of up to 10 m from the source. It has two 3" full range drivers, which claim to produce full, dynamic audio.  The D80 weighs just 1.06 kg and has dimensions 32.5x10x10 cm.

Ernest Sim, Regional Sales Manager for Indian Subcontinent at Creative said, "Most people today store their music in portable Bluetooth enabled devices like the iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry or tablet computers like the iPad or Creative ZiiO, and the Creative D80 is designed to be the perfect compact Bluetooth speaker to go with these wireless devices. The Creative D80 speaker is so compact that it can easily be carried anywhere throughout the home or almost everywhere in a backpack, and it s priced for everyone".

Available in white with a pink, blue, or green grille or black with a black grille, the Creative D80 will be available across the country by the end of July at an MRP of Rs 2,699.

Google Translate support five new Indian langauges

In one of its major strides towards reaching out to the local community, search engine giant Google announces its translation services for five Indian languages namely Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. With the inclusion of new languages, the total number of languages supported by Google Translate has risen to 63. Google says these languages are presently in experimental phase, noting that Indian languages are pretty different from English language. It also highlights that the new languages supported by its online translation service are spoken by over 500 million people in India and Bangladesh.

Google's research scientist Ashish Venugopal writes at Google Blog, “Indic languages differ from English in many ways, presenting several exciting challenges when developing their respective translation systems. Indian languages often use the Subject Object Verb (SOV) ordering to form sentences, unlike English, which uses Subject Verb Object (SVO) ordering. This difference in sentence structure makes it harder to produce fluent translations; the more words that need to be reordered, the more chance there is to make mistakes when moving them”.

“Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are also highly agglutinative, meaning a single word often includes affixes that represent additional meaning, like tense or number. Fortunately, our research to improve Japanese (an SOV language) translation helped us with the word order challenge, while our work translating languages like German, Turkish and Russian provided insight into the agglutination problem,” he adds.

Mr Venugopal also points out that these new alpha languages are likely to be less fluent and may have several untranslated words as compared to languages such as Spanish and Chinese - which he says have much more of the web content that powers Google's statistical machine translation approach. He concludes his post hoping the new alpha languages will help users have better understanding of the Indic web and encourage publication of new content in Indic languages.

June 22, 2011

Firefox 5 Released

Just three months after Firefox 4’s release , one of the most major Firefox updates to date , we now have Firefox 5 , which just happens to be one of the more minor releases.

A while back, Mozilla decided to move Firefox to a new rapid release processl, where new versions of Firefox would be released much faster than before, every six weeks. This is in part due to the success of Chrome using this model, but mostly since it is the best way to get the latest developments to users.

While we do call this version a minor update, it marks a significant step for Mozilla, being the first release under their new rapid release model. This model has required quite a few adjustments for Mozilla due to the repercussions into numerous other products. Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, both of which are based on the same code as Firefox, will need to adjust as well. Thunderbird has already moved to a rapid release model as well, with a beta of Thunderbird 5 released recently, and a beta version of Seamonkey 2.2 based on Gecko 5.0 coming soon.

Firefox Mobile will also follow Firefox’s release cycle, and today also marks the release of Firefox 5 for Mobile (Android).

Another huge adjustment was required for the add-on compatibility process. Already many old Firefox extensions take quite a while to be updated when a new version of Firefox is released, but with releases every 6 weeks, this would quickly become a nightmare. Thankfully, Mozilla has created a new process by which add-ons will be passed through a compatibility scanner, which will automatically detect if an add-on is compatible with the changes made in the latest Firefox version. If an add-on is indeed still compatible, then it’s compatibility will automatically be bumped making it instantly available to uses of the latest Firefox version. Non-compatible add-ons wont automatically be bumped, however the add-on authors will be informed so they can make the requisite changes. A manual validation process is also available for add-ons not hosted on Mozilla’s site.

Another approach to tackling this problem is also in process, with the development of a new Add-on SDK for Firefox, which allows developers to create add-ons using web standard technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Add-ons created using this SDK will not have to worry about compatibility problems as new versions of Firefox are released.

Other than the release process, and the new changes to how Mozilla works with add-ons, Firefox 5 does bring a number of small new features, bug-fixes and improvements. One of the biggest new features is support for CSS3 Animations. CSS3 animations allow web developer to animate HTML elements, allowing for rich web animated web content based on open standards.There have been numerous other improvements to HTML5 support as well. A minor visual change is that the old Do-Not-Track header configuration option has now been moved to the Privacy section where it belongs and is more discoverable.

Firefox 6 and 7 are already in development, and will bring numerous new features, and the best thing is there isn’t long to wait. You can download a pre-release build of Firefox 6 already on the Aurora channel.

BlackBerry PlayBook available on

BlackBerry PlayBook is set to hit shelves in India later this month. Prior to its official arrival, you can now book the gadget at The website provides an option of booking three versions of BlackBerry PlayBook with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage capacity.

The website has listed the BlackBerry PlayBook 16GB at a price tag of Rs27,990 inclusive of all taxes and promises delivery within 5-7 working days. The 32GB and 64GB PlayBooks are available at price of Rs 32,990 and Rs 37,990 respectively. Explaining more about the PlayBook offer, Rahul Sethi- President of the e-commerce division at explains, “Lately, Gadgets have been ruling the consumer space and we are glad to bridge the gap between our customers & their gizmo needs, by offering this sensation from Blackberry. With over 10 tablets already pre-booked on, we are very confident that the demand of this tablet will only continue to rise”.

The pricing of PlayBook puts the gadget in direct competition with Apple's iPad 2 that starts at a price point of Rs 29,500. Talking about the features, PlayBook has a 3MP 1080p HD front facing camera and 5 MP 1080p HD rear-facing camera. With a 7-inch LCD display, the Playbook is expected to attract prospective buyers looking for a compact solution compared to the iPad 2. Running on a 1GHz dual-core processor, the Playbook does boast of very capable hardware specification, what is still unclear though is whether the Blackberry Tablet OS will be able to compete with the Android Honeycomb and the Apple iOS 5.

LinkedIn celebration for 10 million members in India

LinkedIn, one of the most prominent professional networking websites, has announced that its subscriber base in India has risen to 10 million. The network, which has over 100 million members, kicked off its India operations in 2009. In spite of stiff competition from other networking websites such as Orkut and Facebook, LinkedIn India's quickly gained 10 million subscribers have certainly surprised many. Also, it has successfully managed to stand face to face with the major job portals in the country.
LinkedIn says in its press release that it had also established a local leadership team to drive the company’s marketing solutions and corporate solutions businesses. “We have focused our efforts on creating a great user experience for our members, which helps them understand the power of their professional network in developing their own professional brand.,” says Hari V. Krishnan, country manager of LinkedIn India. “As our members here continue to use LinkedIn for everything, from networking and gaining business insights to business development & jobs, we are committed to being the exchange which connects talent to opportunity in India.”

According to LinkedIn, its India members are using interactive activities such as groups, polls and answers to “engage, collaborate and even grow business opportunities across the LinkedIn network”. The network further says several Indian brands such as Volkswagen, Jet Airways, CNN, ICICI Lombard and HopSim are using its platform to interact with the professionals.

June 21, 2011

Nokia Unveils N9 Smartphone

Nokia unveiled Tuesday its new N9 smartphone that runs the MeeGo operating system, and is being marketed as a "pure touch screen" device without buttons.The N9 will launch later this year, and the company will release later the device's pricing and availability in various markets, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said at a company event in Singapore. 

Nokia said in February that it would establish a future smartphone strategy around Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, to help the company compete against Apple's iPhone and handsets using Google's Android operating system. 

The company said it would still put out during the year a smartphone with MeeGo, a Linux-based OS developed in collaboration with Intel.The Windows-based product is scheduled to ship later this year, Elop said. Nokia had earlier said the product would ship by the fourth quarter.

Nokia also restated its commitment to the Symbian operating system at the event. The company said it will start shipping Nokia N8s, E7s, C7s and C6-01s with the new Symbian Anna software update in July. By the end of August, existing owners of these devices can also download Symbian Anna. Over the next 12 months Nokia plans to bring up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones to market.

Nokia designed the N9 as an "all screen" phone with a 3.9 inch display that covers most of the front side of the device. No home button is built on to it. Instead, users navigate back to the home view by simply swiping across the edge of the phone's screen. 

People want more screen on their phone, and want to be able to use their phones when on the move, said Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's senior vice president for design. That requires the phone to offer better one-handed use, and the ability to view all information at a glance of the phone, he added.

The N9 features an 8-megapixel camera. It also uses near-field communication technology. During Tuesday's demo Ahtisaari showed that the device can easily synchronize with a Bluetooth headset, simply by having the phone touch the earphones.The phone will come in three colors: black, cyan and magenta. There will be two versions available with storage at 16GB and 64GB.

First Android Honeycomb 3.2 Tablet By Huawei

Manufacturer Huawei claims the title for the first Android Honeycomb 3.2 tablet, with its 7-inch MediaPad announced on Monday.The tablet runs version 3.2 of Google's Android operating system for tablets, which is essentially the same version found on Motorola's 10-inch tablet, but tailored to the 7-inch screen of the MediaPad.

The MediaPad is expected to ship in Q3 in the U.S., but Huaweit offers no availability date or pricing. The tablet runs on a 1.2GHz processor and Huawei claims you can squeeze out six hours of battery life, which is still around four hours less than market leader, Apple's iPad. Huawei's tablet will be more in line with HTC's Flyer tablet, which runs on non-tablet optimized version of Android.

The MediaPad is lighter than an iPad, coming in at 0.86 pounds, but it's slightly thicker at 0.4 inches, versus the iPad's 0.34-inches. Huawei's tablet also features dual cameras, one 5MP lens at the rear, which can record HD video (but no mention on whether it's 720p or 1080p), and a 1.3MP sensor on the front for self-portraits and video calls.

Along with 3G (HSPA+) and Wi-Fi support, the MediaPad can play 1080p videos and offers 8GB of internal storage, as well as microSD (up to 32GB) and HDMI slots. Huawei promises Flash Player 10.3 will be on board at launch, together with preloaded Facebook, Twitter, and Documents To Go apps, and the Let's Golf game.

When the MediaPad hits the U.S. shores this fall, the tablet will be likely sold though carriers at a subsidized price (but tied to a monthly data contract), as Engadget reports Huawei has no plans to release a Wi-Fi-only model of its Honeycomb 3.2 tablet.

June 19, 2011

LG Optimus 3D

LG has grabbed attention of tech enthusiasts with its latest addition to the popular Optimus series of smartphones. The recently launched Optimus 2X can do nothing but weep at having lost its flagship status. The Optimus 3D is now the latest and greatest offering from the Korean company.  

According to the press release, the device boasts of a Tri-Dual configuration: dual-core, dual-channel, and dual-memory, that is. Of course, the most important aspect of the phone is its ability to deliver 3D stereoscopic content without the need for glasses. The display has a real-estate of 4.3", capable of 1080p output in 2D and up to 720p in 3D. The phone's software offers real-time conversion of 2D photos and videos into 3D. The phone is DLNA certified, and an HDMI port is also present. Although the press release doesn't give many details about the CPU and RAM, it is expected to be a dual-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, coupled with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The phone will also have a 3D augmented reality browser, developed in collaboration with Wikitude.

Looking at the hype surrounding 3D, this device will probably get a good response. Although the Galaxy S II from another Korean manufacturer packs in more power, the 3D gimmick may prove to be the decisive factor.The Optimus 3D will be available in Europe first, and then in more than 60 markets around the world over the next several weeks.
Source : LG Optimus 3D

June 18, 2011

HP's Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse

HP launched on Friday an industry-first Wi-Fi mouse for laptop users that may eliminate the frustrations often encountered with other wireless mice and Bluetooth mice. If you don't want to give up a valuable USB port for the mouse dongle or find Bluetooth a bit of a pain to set up (and reconnect), the $50 mouse may be worth the investment to you.

Both Bluetooth and regular Wi-Fi mice have their downsides. With Bluetooth, you'll need to go through some hoops to pair the mouse to your laptop, a process that's sometimes finicky. Many laptops also don't come with Bluetooth installed, unlike ubiquitous Wi-Fi. The HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse connects quickly to the PC's built-in Wi-Fi receiver and doesn't require you to constantly pair it again with your laptop. HP says the mouse also boasts up to nine months of battery life, twice that of comparable Bluetooth mice.

There are other wireless mice suitable for mobile users, but the HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse has one particular advantage: it doesn't require a USB dongle. Since many laptops only offer two or three USB ports, the Wi-Fi Mobile mouse enables you to save those valuable ports for other accessories. Apparently the mouse doesn't interfere with your Wi-Fi networking, so no worries about having to choose between your mouse and your Internet connection.

Besides the dongle-less connectivity, you'll find typical mouse features here: a scroll wheel, laser sensitivity, and programmable buttons. For those odd usage scenarios when you need to control your laptop from across the room, the mouse has a range of up to 30 feet..

A bit on the small side, the mouse fits in your palm and was designed for mobile use, so it may not be comfortable for all-day computing.Priced at $50 (Rs 2,400 approx), the Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse is currently available in the USA. Hopefully, it won't be too long before it hits the Indian market.

Source : HP's Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse

IBM is now 100 years old

Yep, the three-lettered computing corporation is celebrating its centennial anniversary this week. Big Blue officially hit the triple digits on Thursday; it was way back in June of 1911 that the company entered the world, bare-bottomed and red-faced (no wonder people paid attention).

IBM wasn't technically IBM in the beginning, though. The company initially incorporated as C-T-R, short for Computing-Tabulating-Recording. According to IBM's website, the original C-T-R had 1,300 employees and sold everything from "commercial scales and industrial time recorders to meat and cheese slicers."

Oh yes -- you read that correctly. Mock the odd combo if you must, but let me say this: If any modern tech company sold computers and cheese slicers in the same store, I'd be there every damn day saying "Swiss cheese and PCs, please." And you know you would, too.
But enough dairy dreaming; we're talking about IBM here. The IBM name actually came along in 1924, when the company decided it had grown and expanded too much (and probably sold far too many cheese slicers) to stick with the silly ol' C-T-R moniker. No amount of CPR could save C-T-R; the overly dashed name was dead, and International Business Machines was born.

Not many tech companies can claim a hundred year history -- heck, most other tech giants look like toddlers in comparison. Facebook is a mere 7 years old this year; Google is discovering the joys of manhood as it turns 13; and Apple and Microsoft are striding through their mid-30s. Converted into tech years, by my estimation, IBM is actually almost 4,976 years old.

June 17, 2011

Official Facebook Application is Coming to iPad

The Facebook app has been available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for quite some time now; however, nearly after a year of the inception of the iPad an official app designed for Apple’s tablet from the mega popular social networking site has still not surfaced. According to report this seems to be changing with Facebook set to unveil their app in the coming weeks.

The report claims that the app has been in development for quite some time and is in its last stages of testing and it has gone through several design iterations. The design of the iPad app is said to be slick and especially tailored for its touch screen interface. It is said that Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. Another very interesting feature is that this app will go beyond the features seen on the Facebook website by allowing users to shoot, as well as upload media content such as photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras. Facebook’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg has taken particular interest in this project and has heavily invested in the process by overseeing design decisions and unique features of the iPad app.

Like the iPhone and iPod Touch app, the Facebook app for iPad will also be free of charge. Previously people would have to depend on third party apps for accessing Facebook from their iPads with apps such as Friendly, Facely, Facepad, etc. This new app will be a welcome addition for iPad users who have had to wait a long time for an official app to be released.

Google Helps Your Online Identity

Google has launched a new feature called "Me On The Web" this week. This feature allows users to understand and manage their online identities, as well as control the search results they turn up in. Users with Google accounts can access this feature via the Google Dashboard and this section helps you control online mentions, public profiles on various social networking sites and blogs, manage online identity, as well as learn more about the process of what it takes to remove yourself off the web entirely.

Google says that a lot of people don't understand that while they are a major gateway to the 'internet', they aren't the 'internet' itself. Most people don't really even know how Google works i.e. they send crawlers across web pages and ranks the pages it finds so when you enter search words, the most relevant pages appear. Unfortunately, this means that for most people, their online presence isn't always in their own control. "Me On The Web" attemps to help users cyberstalk themselves. It has tools to show you where you appear online, basically reverting to older tools like Google Alerts or your Google Profile.

Yahoo launched Direct Display Builder in India

Yahoo! Inc. launched Direct Display Builder in India. This new search service places information directly into the search result pages, rather than following the traditional way of displaying it only after clicking the second time; something similar to Google's Instant Search feature. Thus, if you enter the search term 'Mumbai weather', a small box will open, showing the weather in Mumbai, even without you having to press ENTER.

Amit Dayal, Vice President (Engineering, Search and Marketplaces group), Yahoo! said, "DD Builder currently supports 15 categories, including movies, celebrities, stocks, weather, news, shopping and locals in India. Our idea is to at least double it here, and to 200 in the US soon. You will see a larger set of rich categories to smaller ones". He also said that the company had tied up with Nokia last year to introduce the mobile phone maker's digital mapping arm, Navteq's maps in the US later this year. When asked about the same for India, he said, "While Nokia will be the backend for the maps, we will be building the user experience. It s a global strategy and if it (maps) were to be offered in India, the partner will be Nokia".

Also, Yahoo! plans to launch Search Direct, which is a tool combining content and structured data, resulting in a rich search experience, and Bingo Algo: Transition by the end of this year. It must be noted that the search provider had recently also launched Vertical Intent Search and Quick Apps, which may have helped increase the number of people using Yahoo! By 1.7% from April (17.5%) to May (19.6%), while competitors Google and Bing registered a negative growth of 0.84% and 0.74% respectively.

June 14, 2011

HP TouchSmart 610 Quad All-in-One PC

The HP TouchSmart 610 Quad is a blazing fast, beautifully designed all-in-one PC. When we reviewed the TouchSmart 610 Quad back in April, we gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. One of our few quibbles was its price, $1600 for the base model at launch. Now HP is taking $300 off the price, bringing the entry-level TouchSmart 610 Quad down to $1300--and it's throwing in a bunch of high-end goodies, like a free 8GB RAM upgrade and 1.5TB hard drive.

Nokia Siemens Considering Bids For Joint Venture

Nokia, of late, has been struggling hard to stay in the market, and it may only be a matter of time before the Finnish company finally gives in to speculations. Rumours of acquisition have been rife since the past few days; most of them being about Microsoft's willingness to offer a bid to the company, though Nokia has denied any such reports.

More recently, it was made public that Samsung has prepared a bid for Nokia Siemens Network (NSN), which according to the Korean conglomerate, is a 'standard market procedure'. Given Nokia's long existence in the Asian, African and European markets; some would think it's high time they refreshed their line up a bit. It finally hit Nokia when they announced a tie-up with Microsoft to produce Windows Phone 7 handsets with their hardware.

Then came the conspiracy theories suggesting that Nokia's newly appointed CEO, Stephen Elop, (who, incidentally, worked with Microsoft as the President of their Business Division) could be influencing the whole chain of events. Conspiracy theorists are still of the opinion that the whole episode was staged, with Microsoft has already having made an offer of US$20 billion to Nokia.

In the latest development, it was confirmed that Nokia and its partner Siemens were looking for companies willing to initiate a joint venture deal, thus making it official. Nokia and its partner Siemens said that they are currently looking into the bids, though information regarding the bidding companies is scarce at the moment. A spokesperson from Nokia, Doug Dawson said in a statement, "There has been unsolicited interest in NSN and we continue to be in constructive talks with multiple parties".

Nokia announced the partnership with German company Siemens in the year 2006, but it officially came into existence only in 2007. The two companies together, provide telecommunication facilities and data networking services. Running in about 150 countries worldwide, the NSN has been a burden on both the companies for much of the time since its inception. This deal between the two ends in 2013, and it would help both Siemens and Nokia to focus more on their respective businesses.

June 13, 2011

New YouTube Channel For Bollywood Blockbusters

Popular video-sharing and streaming website YouTube has launched an exclusive channel known as YouTube Box Office, which will put online one new blockbuster movie every month and you don t need to pay anything for watching. The service will start off with Yash Raj Films' Band Baaja Baaraat.

Other than Bollywood movies, this online channel will also feature regional movies and is already boasting of over 1500 such movies in its catalogue. This channel can be accessed only by users in India and will be blocked to the rest of the world. Chip-maker Intel is a primary sponsor with YouTube in this one-of-a-kind venture.

Gautam Anand, Director of YouTube Japan-APAC Content Partnerships said, "We wish to create a destination for users which is easily discoverable and also help our content partners get more viewers for their premium content. With over 48 hours of content being uploaded on YouTube every minute; this is our attempt to curate premium and exclusive content which our users enjoy. This initiative also opens up a new window of opportunities for marketers to utilise the platform and engage the YouTube community".

Sandeep Aurora, Director of Marketing, Intel South Asia added, "Intel is extending the 'Smart visuals, brilliant performance' positioning of its latest second generation core processors with this association. The YouTube Box Office channel provides the consumers an opportunity to view premium, high quality movies on their PCs".

YouTube has plans to collaborate with partners in India to work on a revenue share basis towards bringing more premium content and fresh offerings to this channel.

Anand Gurnani, General Manager of Digital and New Media, Yash Raj Films stated, "Apart from offering tremendous reach, evolved digital platforms like YouTube also enable the monetisation aspect through advertising revenues in an unobtrusive manner, while offering a great online viewing experience to the users. We are sure this project will throw up interesting insights and consumption patterns of the digital-friendly audience".

Recently, IPL was made available live on YouTube for cricket-lovers in India, and it met with a tremendous response. The blockbuster Dabangg, which was also available on YouTube got over 1.3 million views. It is not surprising that YouTube is looking at a very lucrative market in India.